With a buzzer-beating layup from Northwestern forward Manzi Hill, it was deja-vu all over again for the Trojans and Lancaster Bruins.
Down as many as 16 points, a furious, fourth-quarter rally by Northwestern sparked an overtime period between the two 3-AAAA rival teams, echoing their last meeting that ended with Lancaster escaping with the 49-41 victory. But despite a valiant effort from the Trojans, history repeated itself as the Bruins won a 63-61 nailbiter to move to 20-3 on the season and 6-2 in region play.
"This is our first-ever win at Northwestern, and I can't think of a more special time to get it done," said Lancaster coach Ricardo Priester. "We are still young in a few areas, but we continue to mature and improve, and it's always huge every time we get a win like this on the road."
The Trojans' strategy from the beginning of the game appeared simple: control the time of possession and not allow Lancaster's potent offense to dictate the pace. The game plan worked in the first quarter, as the Northwestern defense held the Bruins to just 11 points on 5-of-11 shooting.
However, the Trojans couldn't muster any offensive production of their own in the first half, scoring just 14 points with only a single basket made in the second quarter. Meanwhile, the Bruins offense sparked an 8-2 run after a three-pointer from guard Alan Robinson, which gave Lancaster a 12-point cushion heading into halftime.
The third quarter of regulation ended with Lancaster up 13 points over Northwestern, with all signs pointing toward an easy victory for the Bruins. But after missing their first shot of the fourth quarter, the Trojans made their next six, led by Keith Bell and Rontavius McClure, who had seven points each after relatively quiet games. After two layups in the final 10 seconds by Hill and Jhante McMillian, the score was tied at 56.
In overtime, it was Lancaster star forward Sindarius Thornwell who provided the difference, scoring five of his team's seven overtime points to provide the edge the Bruins needed to stave off a relentless Northwestern squad. Thornwell finished the game with a game-high 30 points.
NORTHWESTERN 61, LANCASTER 63
Northwestern --Rontavius McClure 13 Mustafia Love 12 Jhante McMillian 12 Keith Bell 11 Manzi Hill 8 Mason Rudolph 5
Lancaster-- Sindarius Thornwell 30 Alan Robinson 19 Demarcus Montgomery 8 James Crawford 4
3-pointers --Northwestern: 6 (McMillian 2, Love 2, Bell, McClure); Lancaster: 7 (Robinson 4, Thornwell 3).
Team fouls -- Northwestern 13, Lancaster 17.
Fouled out --None
Records: Northwestern 11-11, Region 2-6; Lancaster 20-3 Region 6-2